How can it be that my first “First Reading” post of the year is being written in June? Color me embarrassed, but also color me a lobbyist and it’s #sinedie yal. So yes, here we are. I’m traveling as usual - writing this from always sunny Philadelphia. But now that I’m not pouring over bill trackers and hopping on last minute strategy calls I have time to share some of the news and thoughts of the moment.
It feels good to be here. If you’re new to Pink Granite as I suspect many folks may be - welcome. I’m so happy you’re here too.
Let’s get to some quick reads and interesting bits.
Rep. Jonathan Stickland left the state’s Freedom Caucus. Even they were not conservative enough for him. However, he did so only after passing his first bill ever. So kudos to him for working on the red light camera ban and seeing it through this year. KXAN has posted a list of cities that have pulled the cameras - many are under contract with camera vendors and as a result are grandfathered in for a bit. Austin has reportedly pulled all of its red light cameras.
In a wonderfully bipartisan effort, Representative Victoria Neave and Senator Jane Nelson partnered on legislation to end the notorious backlog of rape kits in state processing. Governor Abbott signed the legislation this week.
The legislature inadvertently (is that the correct word for this?) created a pathway for unlicensed plumbers to practice in our state both for water plumbing in your house and gas plumbing at big buildings that can go boom. There has been talk of a potential special session to fix the issue but Governor Abbott assures us this isn’t necessary.
I hate to perpetuate this fighting and I’m not normally an advocate for Nancy Pelosi but I do believe that she handles her role as a female (yes I’m going there) Speaker of the House masterfully. She’s raised children and as a result seems to handle the White House just fine.
Kellyanne Conway is accusing the Speaker of comparing her to a maid. Sigh. I don’t hate to remind Mrs. Conway that while everyone certainly deserves respect - she is indeed staff. Come @me if you’d like, but I feel good about my assessment.
If you’re looking for a funny, although crass, commentary on the entire issue listen to this episode of Lovett or Leave It.
Frivolous and Fun
Did you know drowning your guacamole may just keep it greener longer? This is the truth according to Real Simple magazine.
If you’re not following @things.I.bought.and.liked on Instagram you’re truly missing out. Sarah is a delight - a delight that may leave you poorer than you were before this post. She’s from Houston and is that friend that researches little things we may not always need but make life easier, prettier and at times more fun. It’s all very low key and her commentary is solid gold.
That’s probably enough for now, let’s ease back into this thing shall we?